Cattle U returns to Dodge City July 29-30

The team at High Plains Journal is moving forward to once again bring its Cattle U & Trade Show back to the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City, Kansas, July 29 and 30. Staff members have been diligently crafting a program of speakers and panelists that will help cattlemen across all segments prepare for the future of their industry, in a post-COVID environment.

Keynote speakers share insights

Building on the success of its initial event in 2019, Cattle U will feature keynote sessions from some of the industry’s leading voices.

Brandi Buzzard Frobose, a Kansas rancher, blogger and director of communications for the Red Angus Association of America, will kick off Cattle U July 29. She’ll bring an encouraging message for cattlemen and women about how they can address the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Frobose was named National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s 2019 Advocate of the Year. She writes about her family and their Kansas ranch on her blog, “Buzzard’s Beat.” She connects with readers by sharing stories about raising cattle and starting a ranch with her husband, raising their young daughter. Frobose will also conduct a breakout session on advocacy methods for today’s cattlemen on the first day of Cattle U.

On July 30, the afternoon keynote speaker will be Danette Amstein, principal of Midan Marketing, who will share the consulting firm’s insights into consumer beef purchasing trends before and after COVID-19. Beef consumer tastes have been evolving in the past decade and Midan Marketing has been gathering data during the pandemic that shows that beef still has a spot on the dinner table for many American households. She’ll share insights into how cattlemen can capitalize on this knowledge to make better decisions on the ranch and in the feedlot to capture more value.

Then, wrapping up the two-day Cattle U will be renowned cattleman, Dave Nichols, owner of Nichols Farms in southwest Iowa. Nichols will speak to the importance of using every tool available to today’s cattle producers in order to make the best herds even better.

Nichols is a pioneer in the beef industry, serving on the first board of directors of the Beef Improvement Federation in 1968. He’s been involved in technology development from the use of ultrasound to now genomic information. He was a pioneer in the transition of Simmental to black-hided and polled cattle. Nichols also led the industry in the development of hybrid and composite seedstock, thus allowing commercial cattlemen to take advantage of heterosis and breed complementarity in easy-to-use breeding systems. The Nichols family markets bulls, semen and embryos throughout the world.

Sessions with practical information

The hallmark of High Plains Journal’s Cattle U is the emphasis on practical, actionable information that attendees can put into use when they return to the farm. Breakout sessions over the course of the two days will have something for the cow-calf cattleman, the stocker and the feeder.

For example, Jeff Robe, program coordinator for the Oklahoma Quality Beef Network at Oklahoma State University, will present a breakout session for cow-calf producers about how they might capture more value for their calves through the various branded beef programs. Considering how COVID-19 affected the cattle production chain in the late spring, branded beef programs may be more valuable marketing tools for cattlemen to use in the coming years.

Rhyan Rhoades, Colorado State University Extension beef specialist, will present a session covering Whole Ranch Management, an accounting perspective that can help cattlemen better control their costs and capture more profits.

Sandy Johnson, professor and Kansas State University Extension specialist will present practical strategies for cattlemen interested in utilizing sexed semen in their artificial insemination or embryo transfer breeding programs for successful pregnancies in their herds.

Other sessions will cover topics such as:

  • Maximizing pasture production and profit, Dale Strickler, Green Cover Seed;
  • Representative forage sampling and utilizing NIRS analysis of forages, Rebecca Kern, Ward Laboratories, Inc.;
  • Is premium nutrition really worth it, Jack Oattes, BioZyme;
  • Mid-feeding morbidity and death loss of cattle on feed and the stocker’s link in the beef chain, both sessions presented by Dr. Miles Theurer, Veterinarian Research and Consulting Services;
  • Cow size and profitability in the cowherd and a look at beef markets from a macro perspective, both sessions presented by Dustin Aherin, Rabo Research Animal Protein Analyst at Rabo AgriFinance; and
  • A beef grading update, from Ty Lawrence, director of West Texas A&M University’s Beef Carcass Research Center.

And, of course, there will be a panel discussion the morning of July 30 featuring livestock marketers from around the United States discussing cattle marketing. Following the panel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Economist Derrell Peel will present a market outlook for the fall and winter.

Networking and trade show

Cattle U also offers ample opportunities for attendees to network with other cattle producers, as well as learn about the latest tools and services from our exhibitors at the Trade Show in the United Wireless Arena.

Once again, there will be a special social event planned exclusively for Cattle U attendees July 29 prior to the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo performance, which is included in the registration. Rodeo tickets will be available as an add-on to registration at the discounted price of $19 for adults 13 years of age and older, and $10.25 for children 12 years of age and younger.

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Attendee registration is now open at Registration includes:

  • 2 days of Cattle U education sessions, speakers and panels;
  • Access to the Cattle U Trade Show;
  • A one-year subscription to High Plains Journal for non-subscribers;
  • Exclusive post-event access online to all presentation slides after the event;
  • Access to the Cattle U Roundup Rodeo Social; and
  • Complimentary lunch July 30 and snacks and beverages both days.

For interested exhibitors, Cattle U Trade Show space is still available, but limited. To inquire about how your company can exhibit at this premier educational event for cattle producers, contact Zac Stuckey at 316-516-3670 or at [email protected].

Safety of attendees is a priority

Of course, High Plains Journal understands that in this time of global concern about the spread of COVID-19, attendees may have questions about any potential affect to Cattle U & Trade Show.

Event staff members continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, as well as follow reports from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and any state and local orders that may affect a gathering of people. The health and safety of attendees, speakers and exhibitors is our top priority. Final decisions are still pending but all are optimistic that the event will move forward as planned. A final decision to conduct as scheduled or to postpone the event will be made by event staff and communicated on June 1, after this edition goes to press.

If Cattle U is postponed, all registrations and booth space reservations from the original date will transfer to the new date. Attendees and exhibitors will also have the option to cancel and receive a full refund if the event dates change or they are unable to attend for reasons related to COVID-19.

Updated information will be communicated via the registration website,, and via High Plains Journal in print and online at

For 70 years, High Plains Journal has been a resource for information and education farmers and ranchers need to survive the ups and downs of agriculture. From market fluctuations, to trade wars, and now a global pandemic, there will continue to be outside issues that can affect individual bottom lines. High Plains Journal’s Cattle U & Trade Show hopes to be able to bring the answers cattlemen need for whatever they face today and tomorrow.

Jennifer M. Latzke can be reached at 620-227-1807 or [email protected].